Park Day One

park1One of the casualties of a busy December, in addition to Morning Pages, was regular trips to the park in the morning to write them.  Although there are advantages to writing at home, I miss being out among the trees, the birds and the regular park people, so I was anxious to get back there.  But New Years Day, I slept in and on Wednesday, I had my usual volunteer commitment at the local 12-Step office.  Thursday, I had an early afternoon business meeting to prepare for so I didn’t want to waste time driving back and forth.   But on Friday morning, I finally made it.  I’d bought a new sketch book and some drawing pencils, planning to do a little art journaling in lieu of writing my Morning Pages.

I parked in my usual spot across from the lake and began drawing, turning up the music to mask the whine of the leaf blower that a park maintenance man was using to clear a nearby parking lot.  Fifteen minutes later, there was a tap on my window.  Blower, the maintenance guy said in a heavy accent, motioning with his hand at the area where I was parked.  OK, I said pleasantly, starting the car and moving further down the lot where there were no leaves.  Gracias, he smiled as I pulled away.  Five minutes later, he was at my window again.  He’s working.  You’re just sitting in your car drawing,angel devil too said the angel on my right shoulder.  Just smile and move the car.   The devil on my left shoulder disagreed.  There aren’t even any leaves here.  Tell him to get lost.  I moved my car to another lot, more or less politely.  Fifteen minutes later, there he was, headed my way again.  Be good, the angel said.  Run him over, said the devil.  I tried to be good, asking myself, What would you do if this was your last year?  Then I started the car without a word and drove back to my original spot, accidentally burning a little rubber as I left.  Neither my angel or devil were entirely happy with me but they rarely are.

In the twenty or so years I’ve been writing Morning Pages, I’ve become very comfortable letting the words flow onto the page without worrying about subject matter or whether it’s quality prose.  I haven’t reached that point with drawing.   I want every entry to be a work of art and I want it to have profound meaning.  As a result, it feels forced.  Still, after another half hour, the first entry of the year was complete on the first page of my new sketchbook.  I’ll show it to you if you promise not to laugh.  Promise?

souls

Does that seem like wishful thinking given the tragic events of the holiday season?

Later, I took a walk along the river trail where I discovered that a bench had been decorated in memory of John Berry, a homeless man who was murdered near the park last January.   John, who was the subject of my post, Faceless, had made many friends in the community and particularly among park people.

memorialJB

Although it brought back sad memories of a tragic event in our community, it also made me smile that someone would take the time to decorate the bench he frequently occupied in his memory.  It’s the sort of thing, along with the outpouring of love and support for the people of Newtown, that give me hope that maybe, just maybe, we are all souls migrating home … together … after all.

Have a good weekend.

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One Comment on “Park Day One”

  1. territerri Says:

    Seems strange that park visitors should be expected to move their cars for leaf blowing. What if you hadn’t been in your car? What if you had wandered off somewhere into the park? I would have been annoyed if I were you. Seems like the maintenance guy was just testing your patience! 😉

    I remember your post about John Berry. It’s nice to see that he had such a strong influence that he continues to be honored.


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